Subjects and distribution of lesson hours

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Grades 1–6

All pupils in primary school receive instruction in the following general subjects according to the Basic Education Act:

  • mother tongue and literature
  • second national language (latest by the 6th grade)
  • foreign language (mainly from grade 3 onward)
  • nature studies
  • religion or ethics studies
  • history (in grades 4, 5 and 6)
  • social studies (in grades 5 ja 6)
  • mathematics
  • sports
  • music
  • pictorial arts
  • crafts

Pupils receive guidance councelling intertwined with other instruction and school-work. In addition to the general subjects, the following elective subjects are taught in primary school: 

Grades 7–9

Pupils in middle school receive instruction in the following general subjects according to the Basic Education Act:

  • mother tongue and literature
  • second national language
  • foreign language
  • health studies
  • religion or ethics studies
  • history
  • social studies
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • chemistry
  • biology
  • geography
  • sports
  • music (all pupils in grade 7)
  • pictorial arts (all pupils in grade 7)
  • crafts (all pupils in grade 7)
  • home economics (all pupils in grade 7)
  • guidance councelling

In addition to the general subjects, the follwoing elective subjects are taught in middle school: 

  • elective classes of artistic and practical subjects (grades 8–9)
  • elective subjects based on the pupil's own choice (grades 7–9) and
  • elective A2 and B2 languages optional for the pupil (grades 7–9)

Distribution of lesson hours defines how many hours per week each subject is studied.

Distribution of lesson hours in Espoo basic education 2016 (in Finnish)